Tigers Trade Buddy Kennedy To Phillies

MLB Trade Rumors

10:33am: The Tigers have now announced that Kennedy has been traded to the Phillies in exchange for cash.

Kennedy becomes the latest depth addition for a Phillies club that has acquired non-roster players such as Ruben Cardenas and Jonah Dipoto in a pair of cash swaps. Philadelphia also recently plucked right-hander Freddy Tarnok off waivers from the A’s.

The Phillies already had an open spot on the 40-man roster after minor league infielder Jose Rodriguez was suspended for one year amid MLB’s recent wave of bans for betting on baseball. Kennedy will both take Rodriguez’s roster spot and replenish the infield depth lost with Rodriguez’s placement on the restricted list.

10:25am: Evan Woodbery of MLive reports on X that the MLB.com transaction log was not accurate. MLB.com has subsequently removed Kennedy’s outright from its transaction log.

9:52am: The Tigers have sent infielder Buddy Kennedy outright to Triple-A Toledo, according to his transactions log at MLB.com. That indicates he cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier this week. He has the right to elect free agency but it’s not yet clear if he’s chosen to do so.

Kennedy, 25, has spent most of this season on optional assignment, with the Tigers giving him 13 plate appearances in six major league games. Combined with his time in Arizona in the previous two seasons, he now has a career batting line of .205/.294/.316 in 136 trips to the plate in the big leagues.

His larger body of work in the minors has been more impressive, though with a bit of a swoon this year. He slashed .287/.395/.455 on the farm over the 2021 to 2023 seasons, with wRC+ giving him a 119 for that three-year stretch. He drew walks in 14.3% of his plate appearances during that span while striking out just 20.2% of the time. He did that while playing a lot of second and third base, with some stints at first base and left field as well.

That minor league performance made him plenty popular in the past year. He was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks in September and bounced to the Athletics, Cardinals and Tigers on waiver claims.

But his performance has dipped a bit this year, as he has slashed .234/.331/.383 in Triple-A, production that leads to an 87 wRC+. His 11.7% walk rate is still strong but his strikeout rate is up a bit to 23.9%. Though he has been popular on the waiver wire, that tepid performance seems to have pushed him through unclaimed this time.

He was also outrighted by the Diamondbacks at the end of the 2022 season, which gives him the right to reject this assignment and head to the open market instead. If he eventually gets a roster spot back, with the Tigers or someone else, he can be optioned for the remainder of this season but will be out of options next year.

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